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Unemployment Insurance

The new law expands unemployment benefits dramatically, with an additional federal payment boosting normal benefits. Here are the details:

  • In addition to normal state benefits, an additional $600 per week will be paid to individuals for up to four months. This boost will help individuals earn around the median weekly wage. This boost is scheduled to terminate on July 31, 2020.
  • Benefits will last longer too. Regular state unemployment eligibility of 26 weeks has been expanded by an additional 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks.
  • The package expands unemployment insurance to those who don’t typically qualify: Gig economy workers who are classified as independent contractors and self-employed individuals.
  • Individuals who haven’t been laid off, but can’t work due to a variety of reasons related to COVID-19, would also be eligible for unemployment checks. These reasons would include a case where they were diagnosed with COVID-19, were awaiting a diagnosis, or had a family member diagnosed with the disease; Individuals who were scheduled to start a job and could not because their future workplaces had been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, would also be eligible. Additionally, individuals whose head of household died directly due to COVID-19 will be eligible.
  • Workers who are furloughed, but haven’t been fully laid off, are eligible.
  • The 7-day waiting period before an unemployed worker can get benefits, which is a standard feature of most states’ unemployment systems, is being waived to help individuals receive cash as quickly as possible.

The requirements vary by state, but in general you’re eligible for unemployment benefits if you were previously working but lost your job or had your hours cut through no fault of your own. The unemployment insurance program uses both state and federal funding to give cash benefits based on the wages you made before losing your job.

One quick note: Filing for unemployment benefits is not a one-time thing. You’ll typically need to regularly update state officials with proof that you are actively seeking work — usually through the same website as the one where you filed your initial claim.

As more people file for unemployment because of COVID-19, expect to see rapid changes. Be sure to check with your state’s corresponding agency for the latest information on applying or qualifying for unemployment. Below is a list of every state and.

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Alabama

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Alabama Department of Labor website. The fine print: You can’t file a claim online in Alabama if you’ve filed a claim in any other state in the past 12 months, you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months and were not laid off due to government shutdown, you worked as a merchant seaman in the past 18 months or you are currently outside the United States of America. What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Your Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification letter and/or TAA petition number, if you are filing for Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall
  • Your bank routing number and checking/savings account number, if you’d like direct deposit of your benefits
  • Your phone number

ALABAMA QUICK INFO https://labor.alabama.gov/unemployment.aspx (866) 234-5382

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Alaska

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. You’ll first need to create a login with a valid email address. The fine print: If you’ve worked in another state in the past 18 months, you may be able to combine claims. What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and your work permit or other documentation
  • Name, mailing address and phone number of your last employer and the location where you reported to work
  • Dates of your last employment, first and last day worked
  • Earnings you made in the last week of your employment
  • Other deductible income received in the last week of employment, such as vacation, severance or bonus pay
  • Federal employees are required to mail or fax copies of standard form SF8 and SF50, and when possible a Leave and Earnings Statement
  • A copy of your discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months

ALASKA QUICK INFO https://labor.alaska.gov/unemployment/ (907) 269-4700

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Arizona

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at the Arizona Department of Economic Security. The fine print: Applicants can apply for benefits online between midnight on Sunday through 6 p.m. on Friday. What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security Number
  • AZ driver’s license or AZ state-issued ID
  • Your mailing address, city, state, and ZIP code
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all employers for the last 18 months
  • The last day worked immediately prior to filing the UI claim
  • Deductible income received in the last week of employment, such as vacation, severance or bonus pay, as well as any pension
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Your Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification letter and/or TAA petition number, if you are filing for Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall

ARIZONA QUICK INFO https://des.az.gov/services/employment/unemployment-individual (877) 600-2722

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Arkansas

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at Arkansas Division of Workforce Services. The fine print: Applicants can apply for benefits online between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. You aren’t eligible if you are participating in — or have a direct interest in — a labor dispute. What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security Number
  • Your physical address, mailing address, and phone number
  • The name and address of your last employer
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Your banking information if you wish to receive benefits through direct deposit
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall

ARKANSAS QUICK INFO https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/unemployment/ (855) 225-4440